LFC completes successful rail seating trial and will apply for Safe Standing Licence
Liverpool FC has completed its rail seating trial for some sections of Anfield and will expand the phased installation programme on a permanent basis moving forward.
The club reviewed the effectiveness of rail seating in relation to fans’ safety at the end of the trial period and, as a result of its findings, will be applying for a Safe Standing Licence. The latest enforcement recommendations from the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) state that stadiums with rail seating for more than two years must apply for a Safe Standing Licence.
The move will see the introduction of safe standing areas across all rail seating sections on the Kop and in the lower Anfield Road Stand from next season. In these safe standing areas, supporters will be permitted to stand throughout matches and not just for significant moments, such as goal celebrations.
Safe standing areas are licensed by the SGSA and fans must be able to sit or stand – the seats cannot be locked in the ‘up’ or ‘down’ position. There must also be one seat/space per person and licensed standing areas must not impact the viewing standards of other fans, including disabled supporters.
Briefing and training will be in place for staff and stewards to ensure only relevant ticket holders are admitted to the licensed standing areas and CCTV will offer full coverage of the licensed standing areas.
So far, six other Premier League clubs have applied for and been awarded a Safe Standing Licence: Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Manchester United, Brentford and Chelsea.
Rail seating was first introduced in two areas of Anfield during the 2020-21 close-season following a safety review by the SGSA. The initial trial saw 7,800 rail seats installed on the Kop and the lower tier of the Anfield Road Stand. A second phase saw a further 2,500 rail seats introduced to the Kop during last season’s break for the winter World Cup.
The next installation phase will take place this summer when a further 3,000 rail seats will be placed on the Kop, in the remainder of blocks 202-208 up to row 33.
This will take the total to 7,425 rail seats on the Kop, just over 55 per cent of stand capacity. LFC plans to extend rail seating on the Kop next year to block 102-108, up to row 13.
Season ticket holders whose seats are impacted by these changes will be contacted directly in due course to explain the changes.
The club has consulted with its Supporters Board about the permanent extension of railed seating and its planned application for a Safe Standing Licence.
Andy Hughes, managing director at Liverpool FC, said: “Following an extensive review of our rail seating trial, we’re delighted to confirm it has been successful and is now a permanent feature at Anfield.
“We also examined how effective rail seating is in terms of the health and safety of our fans, and we came to the conclusion that the management of rail seating areas would benefit from safe standing areas.
“So that’s why we have taken the decision to apply for a Safe Standing Licence, which will see the introduction of safe standing areas across all stadium sections with rail seating from next season.
“The health and safety of our supporters when attending matches at Anfield is, and always will be, paramount.”